It’s always an ugly business when suddenly you receive a negative comment on your Facebook page, or as a blog comment under one of your thoughtful posts. Your first instinct is to defend yourself, or to hurl equally as abusive comments back at the commenter. That’s the last thing you should do!
Remember that being a savvy social media manager means being able to handle the bad, as well as the good.
We addressed the various things that can happen on your social media pages in our recent blog post on managing negative feedback, but today we’re going to take a closer look at how to respond to these ill sent comments.
Rule #1: Always Be Open To Constructive Criticism
How do you know when a comment has been posted that was originally meant as constructive criticism? It can be hard to decipher the meaning in some comments, but you should be open to letting the good ones slide by.
There are a lot of pros that don’t publish any sort of criticism at all, which you could do. If you still feel the need to reply to the comment, thank the person for their suggestion and say that you’ve taken it under advisement. That way you don’t dismiss it completely, but you don’t let it run rampant on your blog or Twitter page either.
Rule #2: Decide Whether or Not You Deserved That Comment
For whatever reason, a community member might decide to leave an unfavorable comment on one of your pages. When this happens, ask yourself if you deserved the candid response, and if you think so – then publish it, along with an apology.
If however you didn’t deserve the comment, delete it and if necessary, block that person from your social media pages. It might sound draconian, but there is a fine line between a comment that is merited, and one that’s just plain nasty.
Rule #3: The Decidedly Obvious Troll Attack
We’ve heard of many controversial bloggers who have been plagued by people that troll their blog, leaving ten to fifteen horrible and derogatory comments wherever they can. This also happens on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Even if you have sparked a bit of controversy yourself, this is the kind of comment you want to erase as soon as possible. These trolls do this for attention and for arguments sake. Sometimes they even do it for competitor websites, to ruin your reputation online. Never respond – just erase and block. If the problem continues, report the user to the platform you’re on.
Rule #4: The Disguised Question Complaint
You’ve probably received a question disguised in emotion on one of your pages, and have thought that it is negative feedback – but that’s not always the case.
If someone doesn’t know the complete story about a product or service, and starts ranting online about you – its up to you to reply immediately and set them straight. If there is a legitimate question in a comment, always reply –unless it’s baiting you into a comment fight.
Work on your responses, and don’t be afraid to delete comments or block people who push you too far. There will always be negative feedback with the positive – just remember that it’s the way you react to it, that sheds either a positive or negative light on your business.
Have you ever received a negative comment on a social media platform?
How did you respond to it?